“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Halifax in Halifax County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Halifax Courthouse

Halifax Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 27, 2012
1. Halifax Courthouse Marker
Inscription. A 1758 act of North Carolina colonial assembly required the court for the Northampton, Edgecombe, and Granville districts to be moved from Enfield to Halifax. On the lot in front of you, the colony constructed a new courthouse, along with a jail, stocks, and pillory in 1759. Little is known of its appearance or design. Originally, the building contained the clerk of courts office. In 1833, the courthouse was enlarged and new fireproof building was constructed for the clerk of court.

The Fourth and Fifth Provincial Congresses met in the courthouse, even though much of the work of the committees charged with drafting the Halifax Resolves and the first North Carolina state constitution probably took place in other locations.

Perhaps the first public proclamation of the Declaration of Independence in North Carolina occurred in front of the courthouse, when Cornelius Harnett read the document to an assembled crowd on August 1, 1776.

At mid-day Cornelius Harnett ascended a rostrum which had been erected in front of the Court House, and even as he opened the scroll, upon which was written the immortal words of the Declaration, the enthusiasm of the immense crowd broke forth in one loud swell of rejoicing and prayer. . . .When he had finished, all the people shouted with joy and the cannon, sounding from
Halifax Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 27, 2012
2. Halifax Courthouse Marker
fort to fort, proclaimed the glorious tidings that all the Thirteen Colonies were now free and independent States.
From Joseph Seawell Jones, A Defence of the Revolutionary History of the State of North Carolina. Boston and Raleigh,1834.

By the 1840s, the courthouse had outlived its usefulness and the county replaced it with an antebellum structure on Pitt Street in 1849. In 1910, with the exception of the vault, it was torn down and replaced by a structure that presently stands on the site, now Pittsylvania Street. In 1987, the county built a new courthouse on Ferrell Lane.
Erected by The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of North Carolina, Inc.
Location. 36° 19.827′ N, 77° 35.289′ W. Marker is in Halifax, North Carolina, in Halifax County. Marker is on Market Street west of King Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halifax NC 27839, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of First Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Colonial Punishment (within shouting distance of this marker); Halifax Colonial Jails (within shouting distance of this marker); The Free Church of Halifax
Clerk's Office image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 27, 2012
3. Clerk's Office
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Market Green (within shouting distance of this marker); Montfort Archaeological Museum (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eagle Tavern (about 400 feet away); Early American Taverns (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Halifax.
More about this marker. On the upper right is a sketch labeled, "Above: Section of C. J. Southier map from 1769 showing the first courthouse (A)."

On the upper left is a sketch labeled, "Above: The Halifax Courthouse shown in a section of the 1822 Henry Schenck Tanner map. The Seat of War of the Revolution of the Southern States: Showing the Principal Movements of the Hostile Armies, 1775-1783." University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

On the left are photos of "The 1849 courthouse and vault, circa 1910." North Carolina Museum of History. and "The 1910 courthouse and 1849 vault as they appear today."

On the right is "The 1833 clerk’s office in 1940." Photo and background drawing HABS NC,42-HAL2
Also see . . .  Historic Halifax. North Carolina Historic Sites (Submitted on October 30, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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